VR sub forum for tech talk

polycounter lvl 13
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MikeF polycounter lvl 13
So with Virtual Reality about to hit the consumer market within the next year i think its safe to say there'l be a bunch of ambitious devs wanting to get into the mix, and since its a fairly unique platform with its own set of challenges for creating art what better place than polycount to act as a central resource!

I know a bunch of people here are already working in this area, so i dont think i'm alone in wanting something along these lines.

I'd gladly volunteer to mod/manage it if needed.

Anyways, chime in if you think its worthwhile (or if you think the idea sucks)!

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  • ZacD
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    ZacD interpolator
    I think a VR master thread in tech talk should be enough for a while, that's what Substance Designer, Quixel, UE, and CryEngine started out as.
  • MeshMagnet
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    MeshMagnet polycounter lvl 3
    Yes, I agree. VR most likely is here to stay and it has a lot of technical hurdles involved. I think this is a great idea.
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 13
    ZacD wrote: »
    I think a VR master thread in tech talk should be enough for a while, that's what Substance Designer, Quixel, UE, and CryEngine started out as.

    Absolutely! if it warrants more than a single thread then we could go from there. Very much down with that
  • Joost
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    Joost Polycount Sponsor
    Correct me if I'm wrong but art-/tech art-wise there's not that many things that are specific to VR, are there? I'm all for more discussion on VR but I'm not sure if there's enough justification for a new sub-forum.
  • Obscura
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    Obscura ngon master
    There are, but its mostly art related, and simple suggestions, like use more geo and less normalmaps, use parallax, coloring recommendations, and stuff like these. Also there are ways to reduce VR sickness.
  • Joost
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    Joost Polycount Sponsor
    Yeah, I mean nothing that couldn't be summed up in 1 thread or on a wiki page :)

    There is actually already a wiki page that could use some more information.

    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Virtual_reality
  • Obscura
  • Mant1k0re
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    Mant1k0re polycounter lvl 3
    Joost wrote: »
    Yeah, I mean nothing that couldn't be summed up in 1 thread or on a wiki page :)

    There is actually already a wiki page that could use some more information.

    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Virtual_reality

    Joost, I got a lot of respect for you but in this case I think you're dead wrong. There's definitely more than a few bullet points to cover for good VR game design - comfortable, fun and pretty.

    Have you actually tried to develop for VR yourself?

    Edit:

    Check out some of the oculus connect talks coming up, it might make you change your mind.
  • echofourpapa
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    echofourpapa polycounter lvl 3
    I agree, a VR specific master thread would be a great start.
  • Joost
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    Joost Polycount Sponsor
    I'm extremely enthusiastic about VR and making VR games. I'm just trying to imagine what kind of threads would go in a sub forum. I think a stickied master thread somewhere would be great. I fear a sub forum would dilute the content too much. Maybe I am underestimating what goes into making good art for VR games?
  • echofourpapa
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    echofourpapa polycounter lvl 3
    That's true. I can see it being about the same kind of thing like the xNormal master thread. A lot of the same questions, and a lot of "why isn't X working the way I want" or "What's the best way to do Y".
  • ZacD
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    ZacD interpolator
    I guess someone that is willing to try to keep the first post up to date should just post a master thread with links to resources and wiki's.
  • peanut™
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    peanut™ polycounter lvl 12
    Do you guys think VR will lift off anytime soon ? what i'm hearing around is that the resolution isn't really there yet so people don't really bother for now.
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 13
    Thanks for the input everyone, i'll get a master thread started sometime this month once work slows down a bit. I've got tons of notes/docs from over the past year that would be a usefull starting point.

    Peanut: yes absolutely. actual screen res is only one factor, optics play a huge role in perceived resolution. I've worked with the dk1, dk2, gear and recently tried the Vive and each iteration has been better than the last.

    I have no doubt that this generation of VR will take off, just needs a bit of time to build a user base for the hardware.
  • peanut™
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    peanut™ polycounter lvl 12
    MikeF at least you're pretty enthusiastic about it, this is a victory in itself, i hope everything goes as you wish.
  • Mant1k0re
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    Mant1k0re polycounter lvl 3
    peanut™ wrote: »
    Do you guys think VR will lift off anytime soon ? what i'm hearing around is that the resolution isn't really there yet so people don't really bother for now.

    Resolution is good enough with first gen HMD (I've got a DK2 and I tried Vive as well - Not Oculus CV1 yet) that you forget about the pixels and just "feel there" when the experience has been designed for VR from the ground up. Many people out there have tried half-baked experiences or even horrible workarounds that pretend to turn regular games into VR experience, e.g. SKyrim, hence the mixed feedback.

    And resolution is really just one factor anyway - hand tracking and good art are just as important to achieve presence, and we're definitely getting there.

    It will go maintream this time because it's comfy enough to keep using it for the duration of a full movie - and thus the entire entertainment industry is interested. Heck, I've watched the entire last season of Game of Thrones in a giant virtual cinema room! Quite the experience ;)
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    speaking of setups, i have unreal engine 4.7 installed together with oculus sdk 0.4 for my dabblings in VR on a DK1. is it safe to upgrade to the latest software versions or is the DK1 now pretty much considered left behind old tech? e.g. i seem to recall the UE cinematics demo to require DK2 hardware according to epic.

    for what i do i don't fancy upgrading now to a model with only a 1080p display at all, want higher resolution to make the expense worth it. and preferably one without vsync requirement.
  • Mant1k0re
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    Mant1k0re polycounter lvl 3
    Hey Thomas,

    yeah DK1 is not supported anymore, and the latest runtime update (0.7) makes extended mode obsolete so your DK1 will not even be detected anymore if you upgrade. AFAIK latest Unreal release is using 0.6 still, which should still work with your DK1, but I could be completely wrong. I haven't touched my DK1 in over a year now.
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 13
    Thomas,
    Yeah unfortunately the DK1 is done as of this month, but if you wanted to roll back to the old runtime like Mant1k0re suggested then you should still be fine.

    As far as upgrading your hardware i'd suggest waiting until the first consumer models hit the market. The dk2 was already old tech after about a month of shipping so i think you'd be disappointed by upgrading now.

    Unfortunately i dont think you'l find any HMD that doesnt have a vsync requirement as this is required for a low persistence display. With the dk2 you can disable it via code, but you'l get sick quick from the judder. If you're over or under 75fps (90fps for consumer model rift) then you'l have a bad time.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    guys, thank you both for the info. i spent 2014 completely immersed ;) in something else so playing catch-up now. i'll hold off on updating anything for now. was already worried of getting into required new display drivers territory and the like after seeing the new feature remarks in the oculus newsletter.

    yeah i'm not getting DK2 most definitely. hoping for a 4x resolution increase from DK1 actually. that should be nice for displaying alpha cards in style finally. the immersion is already strong with DK1 for my tests as such, so it will have to hang on till we see proper consumer models emerge.

    just wondering if anyone is working on utilizing multiple graphics cards in a system to drive VR applications? like, assign one GPU per eye to help with performance issues?
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 13
    At the moment SLI configurations introduce more problems than they solve, but both nvdia and AMD are working on drivers to directly communicate with the HMD (instead of treating it like a monitor) so there's potential for optimization in what can be shared between eyes during the render pipeline.

    Nvidia just put out their first beta drivers with this system to coincide with the 0.7 release so hopefully performance improvements will start to happen soon enough.
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 13
    Hey Everyone, i'm just starting to put a couple of things together here and i wanted to get an idea of what everyone would like to know more about/ find useful.

    I think basic UI production has a fair amount of VR related complications, so i might start there.

    Other general topics that come to mind:
    -hardware restrictions and workarounds for art production (mobile vs. desktop as an example)
    -Adapting particle systems for VR (billboards wont cut it anymore!)
    -Getting started in VR (i'm thinking a basic 101 for anyone new to the medium. Present all the hardware and software options + getting started with minimal effort)
    -Geometry vs. normal maps (normal maps really take a hit when the user can analyze an object from every angle and position so this might be a worthwhile discussion)

    Keep in mind some of these ideas stray a bit from 100% art related subjects, but i think a better understanding of the entire process can help anyone involved regardless of a specific production role.

    Please chime in with any other ideas, i'm probably overlooking a lot of basic stuff that i just dont think about anymore when doing this kind of work.

    Thanks!
  • Mant1k0re
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    Mant1k0re polycounter lvl 3
    Related to geo vs normal map but I would elaborate on parallax as well, probably?
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